by LINDA FRABL | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

Modern Expressionist

faces_vassileva1A Carmel Valley resident since 1999, professional artist Silvia Vassileva finds constant creative stimuli from her suburban surroundings. She admitted, “Inspiration is everywhere: the things we see, the way we feel, words, music, and nature. Everything can trigger a painting!” She is especially enchanted by her beloved 92130 neighborhood, and revealed, “My favorite thing about living here is the proximity to the beach and the beautiful suburban feel.”

Expressing herself artistically has been a constant for Silvia, who was born, raised, and educated in Bulgaria. With her Balkan homeland known for its rich cultural heritage dating back to as far as the fifth century B.C., it was inevitable that her childhood environment was interwoven with art and inspiration at every turn. “Even the long hallways of my elementary school were covered with framed prints, starting with the Renaissance masters on the first floor and ending with the French Impressionists on the third,” recalled Silvia. “Ever since I was in the first grade, I was running to the third floor to admire the Van Gogh art during recess!” Silvia also spent hours browsing through thick art books, trying to copy Rembrandt images with her crayons. At age 12, she began taking formal art classes. Ultimately, the aspiring artist went on to receive her M. F. A. from the Academy of Fine Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria. “I have had a passion for art for as long as I can remember,” Silvia affirmed.


Name: Silvia Vassileva
Community: Carmel Valley
Profession: Artist
Hobbies: Traveling, watching movies, reading
Favorite Local Spots: DoubleTree (best kept secret in Carmel Valley; has best happy hour and garden), Champagne French Bakery Cafe; Trader Joe’s

Describing her artistic style as “expressionistic,” Silvia utilizes acrylics and oils to bring her art pieces to life. She is especially influenced by French Impressionism artists and the work of Pablo Picasso. Silvia noted that she enjoys making a living through her art because it gives her the freedom to express herself. Silvia raised her two children – now full-grown – in Carmel Valley, and has fond memories of donating signed prints of her work to raise funds for Carmel Del Mar School’s art program. Her life in Carmel Valley and early life in Bulgaria are tied together by a common thread: “I hope to convey my love for painting to others,” Silvia shared. She also hopes others never give up on their own dreams. “I said that I would become an artist ever since I was three years old, and I’ve never changed my mind,” the artist related. “Now, I am a full-time painting artist, supporting my family and doing what I love to do!”